PCVs and RPCVs Tell Your Peace Corps Story & Earn an MFA


Do you want to write a book about your Peace Corps experience and earn your Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing?

The online MFA program at National University is recruiting special cohort of current or returned Peace Corps

John Coyne

John Coyne

Volunteers who are interested in turning their Peace Corps experiences into books. The cohort of students will be led by former Peace Corps Volunteer and author of 26 books, John Coyne. Students in the cohort will take three classes together where they write about their Peace Corps experiences, then get to choose from a wide range of workshops with the experienced faculty and diverse student writers in the National University MFA program. The program culminates with the students writing a book-length manuscript of publishable quality.

Current or returned Peace Corps volunteers who are members of the NPCA will receive a 15% tuition reduction for the entire MFA program.

If you would like more information about this opportunity, please email John Coyne jcoyneone@gmail.com. Also please visit the program website at http://faculty.nu.edu/mcw/ Or email Frank Montesonti fmontesonti@nu.edu with any questions you have.

We hope to begin our first cohort October 1st.

Additional Information

Why the MFA program at National University is ideal for Current or Former Peace Corps Volunteers.

National University is a fully-accredited, not-for-profit, University whose motto is “For the Greater.” We are happy to partner with the NPCA, for our mission is also to advance social good in the world.

Founded in 2005, the MFA program at National University is the oldest fully-online MFA program. Our asynchronous online format allows students to learn the craft of writing from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. We have had students complete our program from places as distant as Japan, Guam, Alaska, and Afghanistan. National University offers classes in an accelerated format where courses last either four or eight weeks long and students only take one course at a time. This can allow some flexibility in taking time off from the program, for travel or other obligations.

Our program offers four genres of study: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or screenwriting. Members of the Peace Corps cohort will take three classes together.

These classes will be MCW 610: Textual Strategies, MCW 650: Seminar in Nonfiction, and MCW 650A: Advanced Workshop in Creative Nonfiction. All three courses will be instructed by John Coyne.

MCW 610 is a one month course introduction course that will focus on reading as a writer. It will introduce students to how other writers have turned their Peace Corps experience into poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or screenplay. MCW 650 is our preliminary workshop in nonfiction. This is an eight-week long class where the students in the cohort will write nonfiction essays or chapters of memoir about their experiences. The activities will be tailored to the Peace Corps writers. MCW 650A is an advanced workshop in Creative Nonfiction where students will begin to move into mastery of the craft.  Students will build on their writing in MCW 650 and will begin to consider how their writing might become a collection.

These are the three courses that the cohort will take together. The rest of the courses the members of the Peace Corps cohort will take with our general student population and faculty. The content of the courses will not be specifically tailored to the Peace Corps experience, though members of the cohort are still welcome to write about it.

The program culminates in a final thesis. The thesis will be a book-length collection of publishable quality. We assume that most of our Peace Corps cohort will likely be writing creative nonfiction, but if members of the cohort want to write their thesis in another genre, this is possible. You will have to discuss with the program Lead Faculty.

We encourage you to look through the FAQ on our program website http://faculty.nu.edu/mcw/ or to email Frank Montesonti fmontesonti@nu.edu with any questions you have.

Frank Montesonti
Lead Faculty,
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program
College of Letters and Sciences
National University
5245 Pacific Concourse Drive, Suite 100
Los Angeles,
CA 90045-6905
(310) 662-2159



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